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Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.

The COVID-19 Delta Variant is here.The Ministry of Health confirmed the first two cases in a press release this afternoon. The following is a press release from the Ministry of Health:

The Ministry of Health advises the population that today, 11th August, 2021, Trinidad and Tobago confirms its first two (2) cases of the COVID-19 Delta Variant of Concern.

The first patient is a recently returned national who travelled to Trinidad from the United States.  The second patient is a recently returned national who travelled to Trinidad from Mexico (transiting through Panama and Guyana). As per existing quarantine protocols, the nationals provided negative PCR tests (which were taken 72-hours prior to arrival). The nationals were immediately placed into State-supervised quarantine, as per the protocol for unvaccinated adults. As a result of the positive COVID-19 results from their 7th day swab, the persons were subsequently transferred and isolated in a state step-down facility.

The presence of these Delta variants were confirmed via gene sequencing at the laboratory of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies. As the public is aware, this laboratory has been testing COVID-19 positive samples from Trinidad and Tobago and other CARICOM member states since September 2020.

The population is reminded that, as at the 16 July, 2021, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago updated its quarantine protocols for persons entering the country. These protocols state that all returning adults, who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, should spend fourteen (14) days in a State-supervised quarantine facility. These entry protocols will continue to be implemented.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there have been confirmed cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in 142 countries. Research has suggested that the Delta variant is more easily spread from person to person as compared to previous variants (estimated to be 2 to 4 times more transmissible than the original Wuhan lineage of the virus). Additionally, evidence indicates that individuals who have contracted this variant may be prone to an increased risk of severe illness and hospitalization.  This variant may also lead to an increase in cases of COVID-19 in younger age groups and in those who have been previously infected.